According to the National Safety Council, 66% of drivers say they would make a phone call while driving through a parking lot, while 56% of drivers feel comfortable texting while driving around a parking lot.  Considering all these distracted drivers, there’s always a risk of someone hitting your car while it’s parked.
But does it affect your car insurance if someone hits your parked car? Maybe. There are a number of things your insurance company will consider when determining whether or not this particular kind of claim will impact your insurance, but it’s important to know that your rates can go up even if you weren’t in your car when an accident happened.
Any time you file a claim with your car insurance company there is a chance your rates will go up, even if your car was parked when it was hit.
If someone hit your car while it was parked, look around for witnesses and file a police report before you call your insurance company to file a claim.
If you hit someone’s car while it was parked, don’t just drive away. Leave your information for them and call your insurance company to let them know about the accident.
Leaving the scene of an accident is against the law, and having a hit-and-run on your record will also raise your car insurance rates — usually by a lot.
Does insurance go up if your car is hit while parked?
Any time you file a claim with your car insurance company there is a chance your rates will go up, so if you return to your parked car to find a smashed mirror or scratched up door, it is important to consider the following:
1. Do you have the other driver’s insurance information?
If the other driver left a note with their information or stayed at the site of the accident until you arrived, you can file a claim against their liability coverage, also called a third-party claim. The other driver’s insurance (specifically their property damage liability coverage) will pay for the damage they caused, up to their coverage limit.
If your car was hit while it was parked and you are able to file a claim against the other driver’s liability coverage, it is unlikely that you will see an increase in your own insurance rates.
2. Will you be filing a claim on your own insurance?
If the other driver isn’t there and didn’t leave any information, but you have collision coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance policy. Collision coverage usually comes with a deductible, which means that you will likely have to pay for a portion of whatever repairs are needed. Collision deductibles are usually set at $500 or $1,000 per claim.
If you file a collision claim with your insurance, you will likely see an increase in your rates — even if you were the victim of a hit-and-run.
3. What if you don’t file a claim?
There are two situations where you might choose not to file a claim after your parked car is hit and damaged.
First, if the other driver didn’t leave their information and the cost to repair the damage is less than your deductible, filing a claim may not be a good idea. Your insurance company won’t pay anything toward the repair but you’d still have a new claim on your record, which could make your rates go up.
Second, if you don’t have collision insurance and the other driver didn’t leave their information, you won’t have the option of filing a claim, since you can’t file a claim with their insurance and you don’t have anything in your own policy that covers damage to your car.
What to do if someone hits your parked car
There are several steps to take if you discover that someone hit your parked car, whether it was parked on the street, in a parking lot, or in your own driveway:
Don’t drive away: Keep an eye out for the person who hit your car in case they stuck around to exchange insurance information. If you find them, get their insurance information, their name, their phone number, and any other information that may be necessary. Take pictures of their car and your car so you have a record of the damage for your insurance agent.
Look for witnesses: If the other driver didn’t stick around and didn’t leave their information, see if there are any witnesses nearby. Keep in mind that many businesses have security cameras and many residences now have doorbell cameras, which means there is a possibility that someone got a video recording of the accident.
Call the police: You will likely need to call the police so you can have an accident report for your insurance company. If the other driver left the scene of the accident, you’ll need to call the police and report a hit-and-run.
Call your insurance company: Reach out to your insurance company once you have all the necessary information to start your claim.
What to do if you hit someone else’s parked car
There are several things to do if you hit someone else’s parked car:
Don't drive away: It's against the law to leave the scene of the accident (and, in some states, it is considered a felony) and you could be charged with a hit-and-run. If the other driver is nearby, wait and exchange information with them.
Leave your information: If the other driver is nowhere to be found, leave a note with your name, contact information, insurance company, and an explanation of the accident. Take pictures of the damage so you have a record of it for your insurance company.
Call your insurance company: Let your insurance company know so that they are prepared when the other vehicle’s owner files a claim.
Frequently asked questions
Does your insurance go up if a car accident is not your fault?
Whether or not your insurance rates will go up depends on the situation. How bad was the damage? Do you have the other driver’s information so you can file a claim through their liability coverage? Have you filed several claims with your insurance company in the last few years? Most people won’t see a change in their insurance costs because of a not-at-fault accident, but some people might see an increase in their rates.
What if someone hits my parked car and leaves a note?
If someone hits your car and leaves you a note with their insurance company and contact information, you should contact your insurance company first. They will take all of the information and help you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
Do I need to tell my insurance if someone hits me?
If you discover that your car was hit while parked, you don’t have to contact your insurance company, but it is probably a good idea. If there is noticeable damage or if you plan to file a police report, calling your insurance company to keep them up-to-date can help prevent problems later on if you choose to file a claim.